The Republic of Belarus has been a member of UNICEF since 1953. UNICEF Office in Minsk was opened in 1997. The Basic Cooperation Agreement between the Republic of Belarus and UNICEF was signed in New York in December 2007. More than once Belarus has been a member of the governing body of UNICEF – its Executive Board.
Currently the cooperation between UNICEF and the Republic of Belarus is based on long-term 2016-2020 Country Programme. It is based on the national priorities of the Republic of Belarus in the field of social development, health care and education.
The priority areas include: enabling caring family and safe environment for every child; development and engagement of adolescents and young people, promotion of early childhood intervention and inclusion of children with disabilities, improvements of monitoring system and the quality of statistical data on children, knowledge generation and partnership.
UNICEF was the first UN agency to help the state fight HIV/AIDS. The fruitful joint work of the state and UN agencies resulted in the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
UNICEF initiated development of a network of adolescent and youth friendly centers, as well as provided the state with its expert and technical assistance in the process. Now there are 55 centers of this kind functioning all over the country.
With the support of UNICEF, the peer-to-peer education system regarding the development of healthy lifestyle skills among adolescents has been institutionalized and integrated into the general secondary education system.
In 2010, the UNICEF Child Friendly Cities global Initiative started developing rapidly in all regions of Belarus. 25 cities joined the initiative.
With the active participation of UNICEF, children's/youth councils/ parliaments were established and are actively functioning in 25 cities.
UNICEF supported the establishment of the first social and educational centers and training of professionals working with families with children. At present, 138 centers of this kind are functioning in Belarus.
An increase in the number of orphans and children left without parental care has been stopped, and a steady decrease in the number has been ensured. For the period since 2007, the reduction rate reached 25%.
Since 2007, the proportion of children removed from families due to their parents’ parental rights deprivation, of the total number of newly identified orphans, has decreased by 30%.
Since 2007, the proportion of orphans and children left without parental care who are being raised in children's residential institutions has decreased from 36,83% to 18,33%.
The number of children's residential institutions in which orphans are being raised has decreased from 79 to 35 institutions over the past 10 years.
The campaign to promote the consumption of iodized salt became the most successful campaign in the country and contributed to the reduction of iodine deficiency among Belarusian children.
In 2010 Vladimir Pougatch – the frontman of a popular Belarussian rock-band J:MORS – became UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in Belarus. Vladimir Pougatch represented in Belarus the UNICEF #IMAGINE project. In 2012 with the support from the Ministry of Education and together with UNICEF he conducted an information campaign to overcome the negative stereotypes in the perception of the children in conflict with the law. As a part of this project an artumentary film Angels Never Sleep was shot and aired on the national TV. Now Vladimir Pougatch is actively involved into the UNICEF activities for adolescents.